As a daughter of a retired Army Veteran and a sister of two retired Air Force Veterans, it is no wonder that I have a soft spot for our men and women who serve in our military. This Sunday, November 11th is Veterans Day and for this week’s blog I thought I would provide a little history on Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is the day in which we thank and show our appreciation to the men and women who serve or have served in the military whether in war time or peace time.
Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day which was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, in recognition to the end of World War One on November 11, 1918 at 11:00 am. In 1954 President Eisenhower made November 11th the official observance of Veterans Day which would recognize all wars and not just World War One.
Ever wonder why the American Legion gives out poppies for Veterans Day? The poppy is the official flower of the American Legion to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during war. The poppy was chosen as the official flower after the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D., while he served on the front lines of World War One. The red of the poppy represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much. When the poppy is worn, the leaf should be positioned at 11 o’clock to represent the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
A place to visit on Veterans Day is the Anthem Veterans Memorial in Anthem Arizona. This memorial has five white pillars each representing one of the nation’s military branches and arranged in Department of Defense order of precedence. On November 11 at 11:11 am the sun’s rays pass through each of the five pillars’ elliptical openings to illuminate the Great Seal of the United States.
If you are searching for some ideas on how to honor our Veterans this year here are a few suggestions: Ask a Veteran about his or her time in the service, and really listen to the story; attend a Veterans Day event, or visit a homebound Veteran. The Behavioral Health staff at Spokane VA Medical Center created a list of 45 different things we can do to honor our men and women who have served. https://www.wallawalla.va.gov/misc/honor_veteran.asp
In honor of Veterans Day several businesses provide services such as free meals and discounted services. A list of 2018 Veterans Day Free Meals, Discounts, Sales and Deals can be found at this link https://militarybenefits.info/veterans-day-discounts-sales-deals-free-meals/
By: Anna M. Howard